New 2017 Wisconsin Expungement Law: Under 25 at the time of the crime? You might be in luck.
5 facts you must know about Wisconsin’s New Expungement Law
The Wisconsin legislature may be passing a new expungement law to help people who have been convicted of a crime in Wisconsin put it behind them years later. The changes that are currently being considered would make Wisconsin’s expungement law one of the best in the country for people who are being held back by their criminal conviction. Here are 3 important facts about the possible new law that you need to know about:
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1) There Is Still An Age Cutoff
Under both the old and the new expungement laws, the offender needs to be under the age of 25 at the time of the offense. This is still true under the proposed new law. What this means is that if you committed the offense before your 25th birthday then you may be eligible for expungement. If you committed your offense after your 25th birthday then you are still out of luck under the new law.
2) No Crime Restriction
Under the old expungement laws, only people who were convicted of a class H felony or lower were eligible for expungement. Under the new law, there are no cut offs on the classification of the crime to be expunged. Keep in mind, just because there is no cutoff does not mean that a Court is likely to treat a small drug possession case the same as a serious felony when it comes to granting an expungement.
3) Not At Sentencing
One of the big problems with the current expungement law is that the judge must order the expungement at the sentencing of the offense. The problem here is that the judge often lacks critical information on how that person’s life may turn out: they can only say yes or no to expungement should the individual complete probation successfully. Often, judges may want someone to get an expungement, but they want to see how things turn out for the defendant rather than just base the time on probation. So instead of the 1-2+ years on probation, how are they doing in 5 years or 10 years? The new law will empower judges with these extra facts and the flexibility to take the gamble off of them at sentencing.
4) No New Crimes
The idea behind the new expungement law is to give people a reward for getting their lives together, an incentive to not commit any further criminal offenses, and to help both the person and society by clearing them of what could be a harmful criminal record. In addition to the age restriction, candidates must have a crime-free record to be eligible for expungement. Any criminal convictions or pending charges at the time of the expungement hearing will disqualify them.
5) Drunk Driving Convictions
While there is nothing directly in the proposed new law saying a drunk driving conviction could not be expunged, it is unlikely any court will expunge a drunk driving offense. Please keep this in mind.
If you or someone you know meet all of the criteria, then watch our website for updates on this change in the law and what steps you need to take to clear your name and record.